Spring 2010 Plant List

For my own reference, here is a list of all the plants currently living in my apartment or out on my balcony.


  • Spider plants
  • Maidenhair fern
  • Asparagus ‘fern’
  • Poinsettia
  • Polka-dot plant
  • Dracaena marginata
  • Basil
  • Kalanchoe
  • Aloe
  • Jade plant
  • Several moss terrariums


  • Bleeding hearts
  • Japanese forest grass
  • Dwarf columbine
  • Tom Thumb peas
  • Chives
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Scallions
  • Pansies
  • Lobelia
  • Fuschia
  • Boston fern
  • Vinca vine
  • Oxalis triangularis

Thinking inside the box

Today I got to be creative and craft a special housing for two items that are housed together because of their provenance.  One item is a flat rectangle of cardstock with a piece of fabric attached to it, and the other is a small commemorative button pin.  The exterior box was purchased from an archival supply house, but I built up the inside with Volara foam, 10pt board and Hollytex.  I carved a little niche in a piece of foam for the button to sit in, and then filled the remaining space in the bottom of the box with a layer of Volara.  Next, I made a little tray for the fabric scrap out of 10pt board and Hollytex.  It only has three sides so that you can just slide it out of the tray easily, with thumb tabs on either side to help lift it out of the main box.  I used Hollytex and some Velcro to make a strap to go over the button to keep it in place in case the box is ever dropped or jostled too hard.  To keep the fabric scrap in place, I made a flap of 10pt board to go over the entire inside of the box that’s adhered permanently to one side with double-sided tape; on the other side is a Velcro “velocoin”.

To access the contents, you just remove the box lid, then lift up the 10pt board flap, and from there you can pick up the tray by its thumb tabs or undo the Velcro strap over the button and remove it easily from its foam niche.




The first part of opening the box:

Seaglass huntin’

Seaglass with wire inside

It’s been freakishly warm and beautiful in Chicago this week, so I’m making good use of the nice weather by going to the beach a lot.  Of course, most of my time at the beach is spent with my head down, as I like to look for seaglass/beachglass/lakeglass.  I even have a set on Flickr devoted to my seaglass collection.  The above photo is of a piece of security glass, which has been polished and frosted by who knows how many years of tumbling around in Lake Michigan.  I found a good photo on Flickr of what it probably looked like before it went into the lake.

Yesterday was a particularly successful seaglass day, as I found two beautiful cobalt blue pieces and a very rare red shard.

Second seaglass haul from Lake Michigan, 2010.

I found a yeti in the desert.

A yeti in the desert

I’ve been on vacation all this week in southern California.  It started snowing the day after we left Chicago, but it’s been nothing short of gorgeous here.  All the wildflowers are blooming in the desert, including the Ocotillo.  Also, I finally got to live the dream and go to the San Diego Zoo!  On our last day here, we’re headed to the beach but I am sad that I won’t be able to beach-comb like I usually do.  I’m not expecting to find a bounty of beachglass like I do at Lake Michigan’s beach in Chicago.  I’ll post a picture of my first haul of beach glass this season, which I picked up the day before we left on this trip – Chicago was 65ºF and sunny on Thursday, 31ºF and snowing on Friday.  We escaped just in time!

We were in Anza-Borrego state park yesterday and saw tons of wildflowers blooming, along with quail, shrike, desert pupfish, antelope squirrel, several lizard species and thousands of bees.  The hills were literally buzzing with all the bees hanging out in the lavender which was just on the edge of blooming.  This is desert mallow.

Desert mallow

And this is some lupine and poppies!

Lupin and poppies

Spiderweb interleaving

German spiderweb interleaving

I have seen quite a number of photograph albums with this particular kind of spider-web patterned interleaving.  They’re all German and from the first half of the 20th century.  I’m curious as to why this kind of interleaving was so popular, since it seems kind of macabre!  Maybe it’s a reference to the story of Ariadne or other folktales in which the spider is featured as a storyteller.  Or maybe it’s some comment on how the album will “capture” the memories of the owner/creator.  Hmmm.

From a conservation standpoint, I’m slightly concerned about it leaving an imprint on the photographs in the album, but I’ve not seen any actual evidence of this happening.  Also, the spider-web interleaving seems to be of a higher quality than some of the other interleaving I’ve seen in other albums; it’s thicker and hasn’t yellowed at all.